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Plant of the month – February 2023

By February 2, 2023March 2nd, 2023No Comments

Galanthus ‘S.Arnott’ – White Gold

Exquisitely intricate and beautifully refined, snowdrops can be admired both in isolation and are fantastic viewed on mass. Snowdrops as a group are very diverse, there are in total 19 species found flowering across the globe, from Europe to Iran, occurring mainly in upland woodland but also rocky sites.

The Snowdrop has received a lot of attention from plant breeders as there are 1,500 named varieties recorded – each bulb different in a subtle way, a green mark here, a yellow mark there, sometimes these characteristics are only discernable when viewed through an expert eye, which makes this bulb incredibly collectable.

The snowdrop seen most frequently at Marwood Hill Garden, is Galanthus S. ‘Arnott’. As a cultivar it is bigger, more robust and taller than the species snowdrops. Closer inspection reveals the plant has a captivating, honey like fragrance. This snowdrop has been extensively planted throughout the garden, great masses can be seen along the entrance lane, around the tearoom, and above the bog garden.

Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ is in flower from late winter till mid spring. Each snowdrop produces a graceful arching pendant bloom, the flower is white and pear shaped made up of 3 small inner petals, terminating with a green mark and three larger unmarked outer spreading petals (tepals). Framing each flower is a cluster of neat slim mid green strap shaped leaves. The flowers are said to do better the colder and gloomier the weather, and this year they seem to be doing particularly well. It does well beneath deciduous trees and grows very well on north facing sloping sites.

No cutting back is required after flowering. Snowdrops are very hardy, happy in full sun or shade, tolerating most soil conditions providing they’re not completely waterlogged. The larger nature and vigour of S. Arnott makes it particularly suited to our damp and boggy soils. It is a very versatile bulb and can be planted in a wide range of locations, thriving in containers, lawns, flower beds, providing interest when all other plants have died down for the winter.